Local News

Authorities: Fuquay couple gave teens alcohol, husband then sexually abused them

Posted August 5, 2021 1:07 p.m. EDT
Updated August 5, 2021 6:21 p.m. EDT

— A Harnett County couple is accused of providing alcohol to multiple teens at their home, and the husband is also accused of sexually abusing at least one of them, authorities said Thursday.

John Clayton Taylor, 51, is charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a child, one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Bonnie Gayle Taylor, 49, is charged with one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

John Taylor, a longtime National Guard member, also faces another count of indecent liberties with a child and two counts of secret peeping in Atlantic Beach.

According to an application for a warrant to search the Taylors' home, on Tylerstone Drive in Fuquay-Varina, two boys, ages 15 and 17, told authorities that, while on a recent beach trip with John Taylor, they saw a small camera under the bathroom door while they were showering. They later found the camera next to John Taylor's phone and saw a video of the camera being threaded under the bathroom door.

When they returned to Harnett County, they told a 14-year-old friend about what happened, and he told them that, while he was spending the night at the Taylors' home last September, he awoke to find John Taylor touching his genitals, according to the search warrant application. The 14-year-old said John Taylor also put his hands in the boy's pants but then "managed to 'play it off,'" the warrant application states.

Harnett County investigators searched the Taylors' home on July 25, shortly after speaking with the three teens, and seized a cellphone and various electronics, according to the search warrant.

The Taylors were arrested Tuesday, and both have been released on bond. No one answered the door at their home on Thursday.

Parents in Fuquay-Varina said Bonnie Taylor has coached local boys' sports teams and that teens were always at the Taylors' house.

"The children were constantly over there. They were drinking, constantly under the influence on more than one occasion," said one mother, who didn't want to be identified. "There's a level of trust there that's been completely broken. I think that there needs to be tighter laws on those that volunteer."

Atlantic Beach Police Chief Jeff Harvey commended the boys and their parents for coming forward.

"They are difficult cases and especially with the social stigma [of sex assault]," Harvey said. "These young people that came forward right now, I think, are pretty brave and seem to have good support to bring this kind of thing up. It would be a difficult thing to communicate with your parents."

The parents in Fuquay-Varina who spoke with WRAL News said the charges have rocked the community.

"I'm very proud of those witnesses who were able to come forward," the mother said. "The most important thing is to know that they they're not alone and to believe them."

Law enforcement in both Atlantic Beach and Harnett County are trying to determine if there are other victims, which could lead to more charges against the couple.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Harnett County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 910-893-0140.

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